‘If you want something, make it happen’

WSU alumna leads communication team at Nike; was involved in Cable 8 during college years



Marcia Steele Hoover gives back to WSU by mentoring current students in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.


This article has been updated to correct Marcia Steele Hoover’s name.

Marcia Steele Hoover gained the experience to climb her way to a leadership position for Nike during her time at WSU.

“This 360-degree view of business is a differentiator and is what allowed me to land a career at Nike,” Steele Hoover said.

She is Nike’s global marketing communication director, leads a high-performing team and drives employee engagement. Steele Hoover is an alumna of WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication with a second major in political science and a double minor in French and history.

Rooted from Alaska, Steele Hoover had never been to Pullman. She had no idea what to expect until the day she showed up for her freshman year, she said.

Steele Hoover was interested in attending a big university with a strong athletic team in a small college town.

“I was there for the broadcasting school,” Steele Hoover said. “When I think about the curriculum, I think about participating in Cable 8 News and Cougar FM.”

When Britney Hedin was a student at WSU, Steele Hoover was her mentor in The Murrow Mentoring Program. Through the mentoring program, students have the opportunity to find a WSU alumnus or alumna to help guide them in the process of getting a job.

“She’s so inspiring — whenever I think of Marcia, that is just the first word I can think of,” Hedin said. “She is someone you want to be like.”

Steele Hoover has had five different roles and six different functions at Nike over the last 10 years. None of those roles existed before she was in them because she presented them as opportunities for the business.

“If you want something, make it happen,” Steele Hoover said.

Steele Hoover has had the opportunity to work in the agency world as a management consultant and on the client-side.

“Don’t ever say no to an opportunity that comes your way because you don’t know what you might learn from it,” she said.

The common thread of work she has done has been business, brand and marketing communication strategy, Steele Hoover said.

“The Nike brand is one of the most well-known brands in the world,” Steele Hoover said. “Our [communication] team is one of many responsible for protecting the brand and everything associated with it.”

The practical experience Steele Hoover got as a student at WSU is something that stays with her forever, Steele Hoover said. Taking every opportunity as a learning opportunity is crucial when seeking out a job.

Steele Hoover said she recommends five things for students: take calculated risks, build relationships, be your own advocate, make yourself marketable, and gain as much experience and skills as possible.

“It is important for students to recognize that the first job you have will not be the last job and that you may not get your ideal job out of school,” she said.